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Movies & TV

17th May 2023

Tom Hanks believes AI could help him continue acting after his death

Simon Kelly

Tom Hanks believes AI can help him continue acting after his death

Tom Hanks has been discussing the effects that Artificial Intelligence may have on the future of film and TV, saying that it’s possible it could help him continue acting well beyond his death.

“What is a bona fide possibility right now, if I wanted to I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come,” the 66-year-old said on The Adam Buxton Podcast this week.

“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on,” the Oscar-winning actor added.

“Outside of the understanding that it’s been done by AI or deep fake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone and it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality.”

AI has been a huge talking point recently in Hollywood, specifically around the ongoing WGA strike. Part of writers’ demands are safeguards around the use of AI undercutting their responsibilities in the future.

With the advancement in recent months of apps like ChatGPT, AI is rapidly becoming a fear across multiple industries.

AI and the uncanny valley

The Polar Express (2004)
Tom Hanks in The Polar Express (2004)

When asked about the legal ramifications of using AI and deep fakes, Hanks said “this has always been lingering. The first time we did a movie that had a huge amount of our own data locked in a computer – literally what we looked like – was a movie called The Polar Express.”

Released in 2004, Robert Zemeckis’ Christmas-themed fantasy was the first all-digital capture film, using a mix of motion capture and animation. However, the life-like appearance of some characters delved into the uncanny valley, which led to some uncomfortable responses from audiences and critics. We can only image what lifeless nightmares AI would come up with these days.

“We saw this coming, we saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones from inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. That has only grown a billion-fold since then and we see it everywhere.”

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